The Brow Beat has officially graduated from “Indies” status and will debut on the major label Pony Canyon this Spring. To celebrate the occasion, the band held a three-day consecutive live concert from May 6–8 titled, “The Brow Beat Live 2021: ‘Last Indies’ ~Steal your xxxx~”, with each session receiving its own significant name: “Prologue”, “Epilogue: Shou” (Opposition), and “Epilogue: Utsu” (Shoot), respectively.
Each concert installment represented one of their indie albums so far. In the Prologue performance, they performed songs from their first album Ragnarok. The Epilogue: Shou performance was their second album Hameln, and the Epilogue: Geki performance was their third album, Adam. Epilogue: Utsu also marked the band’s final performance as an indies group, appearing as major from here on out.
We had the honor of viewing all three days online. This live report will focus on the Epilogue: Utsu installment when they announced their major debut and a new single titled harevutai. harevutai hits shelves July 7, 2021, and will be the new opening theme for the anime “Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS”.
The performance begins on an eerie but enticing note, with The Brow Beat’s Venetian mask logo splashed across a black backdrop. The tinkling melodies of pianos and circus calliopes lure us into their fantasy world. Suddenly the show starts with a vintage film reel, the music shifting into high gear with electro-dance beats as scenes from music videos and prior shows flash across the screen. It is a taste of things to come, and a tribute to the band’s success thus far.
Many of The Brow Beat’s songs directly reference fairy tales from around the globe, and it is clear that they are master story weavers of their own world.
The live performance starts abruptly, bursting onto the scene with the power guitar riffs of Adam. Vocalist Ryuji dominates the center stage in all black, a noticeable shift away from his colorful, princely costumes of previous shows. His voice is thick and powerful, rising to meet the metallic melodies.
All of a sudden vocalist HAKUEI emerges from the shadows, joining Ryuji in the second movement. With a sweeping black coat, iconic eye patch, and voluminous feather accents, he is like a raven descending on the scene. If Ryuji’s voice sparkles with the power ballad, HAKUEI’s throbs with haunting resonance, adding an extra layer to the composition. The song Adam references the biblical story of Adam and Eve, and even without understanding Japanese, the listener can pick up on the two contrasting viewpoints.
Their voices rise in unison, rounding out the dynamic and forceful opener. By the time the first song is complete, we already feel as if we’ve seen an entire stage play– as to be expected of Ryuji, who has experience as a professional actor.
The show immediately plunges into the heavy riffs of Southern Cross, with Ryuji proving he also has a formidable death voice. It dovetails nicely with HAKUEI’s range, creating an exciting entanglement of voices.
The supporting members lend their power to each song, changing up styles on a dime, from the heat-packed Kaen to the softer ballad Oblivion. While Oblivion offers a tender, reflective pause, the pace picks right back up, raising adrenaline in an upward trajectory. In Paranoid Star, drums crash rapidly in organized chaos, as Ryuji shouts distorted vocals through a megaphone.
One point of note is the “member call”, where all members take the spotlight for a solo, their teammates chanting their name in support. We get to meet guitarist Narukaze with an electrifying riff, bassist Chirolyn with a throaty and funky solo, and drummer Kadoshun with a breakneck arrangement of drums. Of course vocalists HAKUEI and Ryuji get their moment of recognition too, standing confidently on the riser. Rallied together under the band logo, the member call raises stamina to push through to the end of the show.
It’s just one of the many ways we observe brotherly support in the band. Though each member has their unique style, they fight as one compelling force. Yet they also play around, passing quips in MC sessions, and blasting each other with smoke during Black & Black. Sometimes they even descend into the empty audience pit and fool around. It’s not just an exciting show to watch, it’s flat-out fun.
Perhaps because it’s the final indies live, we get not one– not two– but three stamina-packed encore performances. In the first encore, the band sports their white merch tees, featuring a Marilyn Monroe-like model wearing a black lace mask. We’re treated to a cover of the PENICILLIN song Romance. Even though Ryuji is a talented singer, he admits in the MC that he was anxious to perform it.
We also get to see a live performance of one of their new songs, Stray Child. It is moving, and sorrowful. Ryuji’s duet with HAKUEI there is accented by low-rolling mist and sapphire blue lights.
In the second encore, the band switches out for the same merch tee in black, some with matching parkas. Even Ryuji admits that his “HP (Health Points) is running low” by the second encore, but they push through with shocking vigor.
The final encore song was chosen by luck of the draw, with Ryuji pulling lots from a box. The lucky song was Snow White, which all members agreed to. It was a fitting end, with playful banter of “Heigh-ho” between all members.
As all members depart from the stage, Ryuji makes a flourished bow, saying quietly, “Next time, we’ll meet at the major label”. It was a poignant ending to an emotional concert.
The live performance has been archived online, and available to stream with purchase until May 16, 2021. Please see details below as well as the setlist for Epilogue: Utsu, which we covered above.
Streaming and purchase information
- Date: May 2, 2021 (Sun) 19:00 (JST)
- General, 1 day pass: 6,000 yen (tax included)
- General, 3-day ticket: 18,000 yen (tax included)
- Fan club members only, 3-day pass: 15,000 yen (tax included)
- Sales period end: May 16, 2021 (Sun) 21:00 (JST)
- Tickets: The Brow Beat official website
The Brow Beat Live 2021: ‘Last Indies’ ~Steal your xxxx~ May 8, 2021 (Saturday) Epilogue:Utsu
- Southern Cross
- Yatagarasu no Kagefumi
- BLACK SHEEP
- Paranoid Star
- Member Call
- Black & Black
- Snow White
- Romance (PENICILLIN cover)
- stray child (new song)
- Snow White
Update 2021-06-03: We previously listed The Brow Beat’s drummer as Katoshun; it has been corrected to Kadoshun. One song in the setlist was incorrectly stylized as Shararara; it has been corrected to Sararara. Last but not least, the reading for one of the live titles has been corrected from Utsu to Geki.